Tag Archives: design

Internet Inspiration

1 Oct

Since I haven’t been able to do much of anything blog-related lately I thought I’d share some favourite projects, links and videos I’ve been enjoying on the internets lately:

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Ever wonder what it would be like to buy an old factory in France and renovate it into an amazing designer house?  My friend Judith from the blog Joelix did just that and is letting us all take a virtual visit throughout.  So beautiful.

Another talented friend of mine Jennifer from the blog Classic Play just released her new PBS video series called Adventures in Learning.  These short videos are a full family project with her and her kids starring in them and her husband filming and producing them.  They are great fun to watch as a family and have the added bonus that they are educational!  Above is the video on stargazing and learning about the constellations.  Click here for the second video where they visit the local farmer’s market:

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Here’s a great board to follow for all you Pinners out there.  The Mamas….Making Pinterest board is full of the most amazing and creative ideas for families of every kind.  Everything from kid’s art projects to family friendly recipes to sewing projects just for Mom.  And I’m proud to be part of it.

6a01156fdc946b970b019aff9f79ca970c-800wiI cam across this gorgeous purse made by Jane from the blog Buzzmills. It was one of her Selfish Sewing Week projects and I absolutely love her choice of fabrics, designs and colours. The pattern is the 241 Tote from Noodlehead.  I’ll be buying it to make with my weekly sewing group (and I have the perfect Japanese Echino fabrics to use!).

Some days you just need something silly to put a smile on your face.  This did it for me.   And it’s possible I even headed out to my chicken coop with my old fashioned ghetto-blaster and re-enacted the whole thing.

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Milano Fuori Salone 2013

18 Apr


Every year I look forward to April for two things.  The gorgeous spring weather and flowers and the Salone Internazionale Del Mobile (Furniture Design Fair) in Milan.  Both of these bring a spring to my step and let me know that winter is indeed over.

I love momentarily escaping my small town life to visit the big city of Milan which is transformed into a mecca of all things beautiful for your house and more.  My favorite part of design week is the famous Fuori Salone which is a side event located throughout the entire city for companies and designers to exhibit their products.

If you stroll around certain neighbourhoods (Brera, Tortona and Naviglio to name a few) you’ll find old factories converted into showrooms full of the world’s most innovative new designs.  You’ll also stumble upon smaller, more intimiate design spaces which are located in old stone houses with vaulted ceiling or even car garages that are completely made over to exhibit anything from carpets to garden furniture.

The streets are packed full of people and there’s a really amazing atmosphere everywhere you go.  If you pop by on the Friday or Saturday evening there are many VIP parties, impromptu music concerts in the streets and beautifully clothed people everywhere.  We take our kids every year and they really love it.  There is so much to see, sit on, play with and learn about.

1-IMG_7406We visited the Italian magazine Casa Facile‘s Relaxation Zone.  They served us herbal teas with organic biscuits and rice crackers and then sent us on our way with free samples of all-natural beauty creams and shower gels.  While there they told the kids to make themselves at home.  As you can see, they did.

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1-IMG_7362I fell in love with these bird feeders by Singapore label Hinika.  And the fact they styled it with origami was just icing on the cake.

1-IMG_7359Some of the most stunning furniture that I came across at the Fuori Salone was from the Chinese company Pinwu Studio.  Their pastel coloured porcelain topped beech wood tables and stools reminded me of those delicate French cookies  called Calissons d’Aix.  The “Lu tables” come in everything from small low stools to large round dining room tables.  Pinwu Studios were the winners of the 2012 Design Report Award.

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1-photo (39)We also visited the Cascina Cuccagna which was showcasing some more alternative and environmentally friendly designers and methods of production.  I loved hearing about “Fast Fashion” from Dutch designer Laura Lynn Jansen.  We could see how this dress above was produced in an hour from start to finish using only two types of fabric (stretchy and non-stretchy), a large balloon and some special glue and absolutely no machinery.   I love the fact that some designers are recognizing the importance of sustainability and recycling/reusing in the design world.

1-IMG_7431And of course we topped off our day by visiting one of our favourite museums in Milan La Triennale.  We saw rooms full of some of the world’s most important designs from history and today.

Il Salone Internazionale di Mobile 2014 will be held from April 8th to the 13th.  Definitely worth the trip.

Alessi Factory

21 Feb

The other day we decided a trip up the lake to the Alessi Factory Shop in Omegna was in order.  I was thinking that Alessi products would be the ideal gift to take to friends in Japan.  Italian-made funky design…how can you go wrong? Personally, I’d be happy to never see another round metal Alessi tray with the traditional little man cutouts though…

You can see that you’re approaching the outlet by the oversized sculptures of random kitchen appliances that you can find on the side of the roads.

Look…a 6 foot coffee pot just hanging out on a building ledge.

And a maxi-sized teapot at the factory entrance.

And I’m pretty sure this an over-sized version of the Alessi toilet plunger.  But I could be wrong.

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